I wasn't ready with my dish for Qatar, which is the letter for today, until couple of days ago. With exams going on for kids, it becomes so hard to even manage regular cooking. Since I had thought making Kid friendly dishes, more on snacks and sweets will be easy on the schedule, I was in for deep trouble.
Though the dishes I finalized were simple, even getting that little time seem to be a huge task. While I was going through Qatar, I had thought I would make some of the rice dishes they seem to make. Again making a main course was risky if Hubby dear didn't like it. Then the choice were for desserts. Qatar desserts seem all so heavy, with creams and loads of butter going in.
Infact the final dishes that I had were much like the Danish Apple Cake or few other things. I finally settled for Algeemat. Infact this is much similar to Awamat, with different ingredients going in. Even then I simply wanted to make this. I woke up early on the day I decided to make it and wanted to pack for Konda's snack. Preparation hardly takes time, though if you rest it for over an hour the yeast would really work up and make your batter very fluffy.
Konda and Peddu loved digging into this juicy sweet. Even Hubby dear enjoyed a piece. Rest were all packed for Konda. If you are a sweet lover, this is surely for you. The milk powder, custard powder makes this batter quick sticky. We will have to use spoons to avoid the mess it would cause. The final dish is more like the Mysore Bondas, infact Amma thought it was something like that and was in for a surprise when the sugar syrup hit her senses.
Algeemaat | Qatari Sticky Custard Balls
country Q for Qatar
Category - Sweets, Desserts
Preparation Time - 5 mins
Resting Time - 1 hour
Cooking Time - 3 - 4 mins per batch
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Powdered milk - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Instant yeast - 1/2 tsp
Custard powder - 1 tbsp
Saffron a pinch
Cinnamon a pinch
Milk 1 cup
Warm water 1/2 cup
Pinch of salt
Oil for deep frying
Sweet syrup to taste (for serving)
How to make Algeemaat
In a mixing bowl take all the ingredients for the balls. Mix into a smooth batter, making sure it's more on liquid form.
Set it aside to rise, this takes about an hour or so. Heat oil, using spoons, scoop out batter and gently drop into the oil.
Cook on low flame, so that it gets cooked inside. Deep fry in batches and drain on a kitchen towel.
Just before serving, pour hot sugar syrup over the fried balls.
The sugar syrup is a thick syrup and you need not bother about getting a string consistency. This sweet tastes great as hot.
I always associated Persia with a mystical aura surrounding the country. I had read so much about the land in the many fiction I use to consume. It always fascinated and held me captive, talking about the land and the food and so many things. So when it was to choose P, I had to do Persia. Persia or Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1980, is a country in Western Asia.
I landed in this recipe and spent many a days simply looking at the pictures and spend quite sometime checking out other recipes. Infact I made something else from this space as well. For all the time I spent, I didn't get around reading this post, maybe somehow to do with the loss and the sadness that sort of clouded this post. The writer spins quite a tale and though I enjoyed reading her other posts, I couldn't get myself read this. Then I thought so what if Halwa is associated with funerals. Even then it's a wonderful recollection of the writer's experience.
In India Halwas are made on happy occasions. And given my penchant for Halwas, I had to make this.I have previously made Maida Halwa, quite in a different way. Seeing how it is made, I knew this must be relatively very simple to get done. Just as I said, it was so simple. I made this on the Saturday and the moment I went in, Konda was following me, wanting to know which country I was going to make. I told her that I can't avoid to deviate from the order and it has to be P for the day.
The morning I was making, I was baking a cake as well. So you can imagine the other company I had. The boys wouldn't budge from the space and I literally had to send them off. Just as I thought getting this Halwa done was a breeze. Only just as I was mixing it, I realized that I had missed out adding butter altogether. Off late I find myself going bonkers when I make too many dishes at the same time, clicking each picture and having the kids in the small kitchen.
Konda was going gaga over this, while boys were only peeping into the oven. Finally I managed to fix the missing butter and the halwa turned out so delicious. Even with all the fixing I had to do, this took just about 15 - 20 mins all together. This is one quick dessert fix I must say. It was so delicious that Konda skipped her breakfast for this, while all the time threatening her brothers to try this. Peddu ventured and he got hooked. He didn't know if he had to eat more cake or this in the end.
If you ever want to make a quick sweet, you must make this. The original recipe calls for 3 cups flour, though I made with just a cup of flour.
Country - P for Persia
Category - Dessert, Sweets,
Cooking time - 15 - 20 mins
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Unsalted Butter - 2 tbsp or more
Sugar - 3/4 cups
Rose water - 2 tbsp
a pinch saffron, ground
Water just enough to cover the sugar
Slivered almonds and pistachios for garnish
How to make the Persian Halvah
For the Syrup
In a Sauce pan, place the sugar and water, bring to boil. Strain if any impurities, then continue boiling for couple of more minutes, till you get a thick syrup but not a thread.
Remove from heat and add rose water and ground saffron. Set aside to cool down
To make the halwa
Melt butter in a non-stick pan, add flour.
Let the flour brown on low heat making sure that you constantly stir so that it won’t burn. This takes the major part as you will have to keep stirring constantly.
Since I was making the syrup on the side, I had to be really careful to make sure the flour doesn't get burnt.
After about 7 - 10 mins the flour turns colour, becomes a nice brown shade.
Once the flour is ready pour the syrup over it.
Remove from heat and combine the syrup and flour together. If it is too dry add 1/4 of cup of water to it. I add more ghee to it.
Transfer to a greased plate and decorate with nuts.
I forgot about adding butter at the initial stage. You can easily add melted ghee. Mine was more loose and couldn't form design as I saw in the original recipe.
The halwa is so soft and smooth. The nuts give a good bite in between.